Travel Warning-Thailand

by Wayne Ghesquiere on February 18, 2011

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against non-essential travel to border areas in the Thai provinces of Tak and Mae Hong Son due to ongoing armed conflict on the Burmese side of the border. Incursions and shelling into Thailand have occurred. In November 2010, fighting within Burma between ethnic groups and military forces involved gun and mortar fire and led to injuries and deaths in the border region, as well as the movement of thousands of Burmese people into Thailand. Border crossing points may close without notice. Canadians are advised to exercise a high degree of caution in Thailand. Since September 2006, there have been several waves of mass political demonstrations staged by pro- and anti-government movements. Some of these demonstrations have led to violent clashes, resulting in several deaths and injuries, and some have involved the use of explosive devices. From March through May 2010, large-scale political demonstrations marked by violence, unrest, and rioting occurred in Bangkok, in which approximately 100 people are known to have died. A state of emergency in effect since April was lifted on December 22, 2010. It has been replaced by the Internal Security Act which may impact on civil liberties by limiting the right to assembly as well as freedom of movement, and may include searches, checkpoints, curfews, and other restrictions. Further demonstrations, civil unrest, sporadic violence, and attacks remain a risk anywhere in the country at any time. Even though demonstrations and associated violence have been focused mostly in Bangkok, unrest and demonstrations also occurred in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Khon Khen, and Udon Thani. Canadians are advised to avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, military installations, and concentrations of security personnel.  Canadians should exercise caution, follow the advice of local authorities, and remain informed of current issues by monitoring local media.

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